The Chippewa Valley’s Contribution to World War II
and 1945, Henry and Elizabeth Perry of Eau Claire clipped any and all
articles about World War II from the Leader
and Telegram newspapers and pasted them into scrapbooks.
the scrapbooks were passed to their daughter, Joyce Perry Wendt. Upon
seeing the scrapbooks, a friend and World War II veteran, Marshall
McQuillan, thought that another World War II veteran, Diz Kronenberg,
might be interested in seeing them.
after she gave the scrapbooks to Marshall, Joyce died, and Marshall
suggested that Diz should just keep the scrapbooks.
immediately, Diz thought that the scrapbooks should be preserved or
perhaps reproduced; made into a book. He laboriously xeroxed both sides
of each page, using the equipment of his friend, Gary Myers, at the Trading
Post. Then he cut the xeroxed articles up and filed them
alphabetically by last names of individual veterans—making separate
folders [i.e. last names beginning with BAs, BEs, BIs, BOs, BUs, BRs]
had reproduced, dissected, and alphabetized the scrapbook contents, he
tried to find a means to have the scrapbook reassembled into a readable
planned to present
the veterans in alphabetical order and to tell each veteran's story
chronologically based on available newspaper clippings. Getting a
readable text from old newspaper clippings would mean retyping the
entire contents of the scrapbooks or finding a computer program which
would allow articles to be edited once they were scanned into the
He discovered that, while scanning newspaper articles into a digital
format was possible, each ink
spot and wrinkle on the clipping was reproduced as a letter or
punctuation mark. This meant that much of what was produced proved
He discovered that, while scanning newspaper articles into a digital format was possible, each ink spot and wrinkle on the clipping was reproduced as a letter or punctuation mark. This meant that much of what was produced proved unreadable.
The project looked impossible. Diz moved the box of folders with all those newspaper clippings, that he had so painstakingly created, to a remote corner of his basement. Frankly, at this point, there seemed no way to accomplish his goal.
life settled down a bit, I thought it would be a good time to get the
Kronenbergs hooked up to a computer for word processing, e-mailing, and
“surfing the web.” I particularly wanted Diz to have a word
processing program because he was still writing prolifically on his
electric typewriter---producing such works as, the history of Hillcrest
Golf and Country Club for its 75th Anniversary, an
instruction book for junior golfers, and instructional handouts for my
and I had unused computer components in our basement and, with the help
of a colleague, Corey Fritz, we put together a system and took it to the
While I was
visiting the Kronenbergs one day, Diz remarked that perhaps, now, he
would finally write his World War II book. And, somewhere in the
conversation, he produced the box of folders.
point, the project took on a life of its own.
I had taken A
LOT of pictures during the season, and sharing them with banquet
guests seemed like a good way to entertain and to provide a season
summary. As I was finishing the slide show the week before the banquet,
Cindy had to leave town and “handed me off” to Julie Lowy, a
colleague and Secondary Technology Specialist at Memorial High School.
Not only did
Julie help me finish scanning photos, but she also taught me how I could
caption each photo. Needless to say, by the end of the project—which
started out as just 25 or 50 slides, the production had 250 slides, each
with a creative caption, AND Julie had created special “senior
slides” for the show’s finale. Of course, Julie then made CDs of the
slide show for each golfer and an autograph insert for each CD case.
After I had
stored the last golf bags and my life settled a bit, I made time to
visit Diz and Marj and set them up with that computer.
“Wa” folder from Diz’s box, I stopped to see Julie Lowy about how
I could help Diz make a book from the clippings in these folders.
Julie and I agreed that this information should be preserved.
Almost immediately, however, the discussion left the confines of a book
and evolved into a web page. With a web page,
we realized the information could be accessed easily by anyone, anywhere
and that information could be added to the project. It could be a
living, breathing museum.
young people to get more information about the heroic contributions of
their grandparents and relatives. All three of us wanted the page to
give equal honor to all listed, so we listed veterans alphabetically and
without rank. We wanted people to comprehend the magnitude of the
Chippewa Valley’s contribution to the war effort, so we wanted all
veterans’ names listed on one page…a visual honor roll. Such
expectations stretched beyond the confines of a book.
also realized that other people might want to contribute information,
and a web page would facilitate additions and editions.
into our conversation, Julie was sitting at a computer, scanning
in the first picture, determining how to scan text so that it could be
edited, constructing and organizing an electronic filing system, and
inspiring me with the possibility that Diz’s dream could, indeed, be a
quickly, it was determined that Julie would handle ALL the technical stuff.
I couldn’t wait to learn.
I would be
responsible for all editing and would type any short articles—we
determined that any column four inches or shorter took less time to type
than to scan and edit.
Diz would be
free to write his reflections and he would be our final authority to
We gave the
project the official birth date of November 20, 2002 [also Julie’s
eaten at the pace that we’ve worked; we have four letters left in the
alphabet [l, m, p, t,] and have just eaten at Applebee’s, The Black
Bear, Culver’s, Dragonetti’s, El Patio, Fischers’ on the Green,
Typing, and Time
As we are
recalling the process—at this writing—we chuckle that we have come
so far so fast. We both
just saw a need—we both just knew this had to be done, and we’ve
actually working with Julie has been limited to about four
evenings--one at my home to sort Diz’s memorabilia. Otherwise, I stop
to see Julie on “my mailbox run” which takes me from one end of
Memorial High School to almost the other. Basically, all communication
is effectively done digitally. Because of Julie’s vision and skill,
she has also been able to foresee problems and solve them before they
slow our process. There have been virtually no obstacles to thwart our
members are invited to locate and share the artifacts of their
relatives/ancestors who served in World War II— abroad and on the home
front. We would, then, like to compile the information and artifacts in
chronological order, edit it, verify it, and share it.
For instance, in the summer of 2002, Diz was able to locate information on veterans not archived in the Perry scrapbooks because the Madson family of Eau Claire shared their World War II scrapbook with him. Mrs. "Fuzzy" Madson had passed the scrapbook to her son, Dale (Moose) Madson, who then shared it with Diz.
a perpetually evolving museum, a museum that continually grows because
the people of the Chippewa Valley are actively engaged in its growth.
Citizens of the Chippewa Valley Help
people to communicate with us.
What to do: